30 Issues: The Post-Bush Constitution

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Adam Liptak, the Supreme Court correspondent for the New York Times, looks at how the Constitution and executive power have changed over the past eight years. Then, Laurence Tribe, professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law School and adviser to the Obama campaign. Also, Eric Posner, a professor at the University of Chicago, a visiting professor at NYU this fall, and author of Terror in the Balance: Security, Liberty and the Ports.".

And, Elizabeth Holtzman, former Congresswoman (D-NY 16th) and author of The Impeachment of George W. Bush, takes a look at the move to hold the Bush administration accountable.


Elizabeth Holtzman, Adam Liptak, Eric Posner and Laurence Tribe

Comments [68]

brian from nyc

Hey Brian - you live and work from the best city on Earth. Why don't you focus on some news from NYC. We don't need another show talking about the same national issues that every other show talks about. Think Globally - Act Locally. If you can't find juicy news (but still significant - don't need another NYPost either) in NYC, you're as dense as the sidewalks.

Sep. 24 2008 09:24 PM
Elaine from Niagara Falls

As you can see am missing parts, part 6, part 7, and part 9 look as if it was edit out so i guest it was something the people didn't need to know ,but check around and you may be able to find the whole story like i do . I found it very interesting since the McCain camp is so stick on the PIG and LIP STICK word although he used it first. what do you think of what palin called Obambo and Hiliary what was that the waitress say came out her mouth?...SAMBO & BITCH how's that for professional BEHAVIOR in a public place.

Sep. 24 2008 07:46 PM
Elaine from Niagara Falls ny

{part 11}

Then Palin spent $1 million on an unnecessary, new park that no one other than the contractors and Palin seemed to want. Next, Sarah doled out more than $15 million of taxpayer money for a sports complex that she shoved through even though the city did not own clear title to the land; now, seven years later, the matter is still in litigation and lawyer fees are said to be close to at least half of the original estimated price of the facility.

She also worked hard to get voters approval of a $5.5 million bond proposal for roads that could have been built without borrowing. Anchorage may not be the center of the financial universe but, like good Republicans everywhere, Sarah Palin knows how to please Alaskan bankers and bond dealers.

For good measure, she turned Wasilla into a wasteland of big box stores and disconnected parking lots.

Sarah Barracuda
En route to the governor’s igloo, Palin managed to land what Anne Kilkenny says is the plumb political appointment in the state: Chair of Alaska’s Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (OGCC), a $122,400 per year patronage slot with no real authority to do anything other than hold meetings. She took the job despite having no background in energy issues and, as it turned out, not liking the work.

Sep. 24 2008 07:27 PM
Elaine from Niagara Falls ny

{part 10}

Something else has a familiar Republican ring to it: Her tax policies, and a “refund surpluses but borrow for the future” attitude.

According to Kilkenny and others in Wasilla as well as Juneau, Palin reduced progressive property taxes for businesses while mayor and increased a regressive sales tax which even hits necessities such as food. The tax cuts she promoted in her St. Paul speech actually benefited large corporate property owners far more than they benefited residents. Indeed, Kilkenny insists that many Wasilla home owners actually saw their tax bill skyrocket to make up for the shortfall. Two other Wasillian’s with whom I spoke said property taxes on their modest, three bedroom homes rose during the Palin regime.

To an outsider, it would seem hard to do, but an oil-rich town with zero debt on the day she was inaugurated mayor was left saddled with $22 million of debt by the time she moved away to become governor – especially since nothing was spent on things such as improving the city’s infrastructure or building a much-needed sewage treatment plant. So what did Mayor Palin spend the taxpayer’s money on, if not fixing streets and scrubbing sewage?

For starters, she remodelled her office. Several times over, as a matter of fact.

must i say more

Sep. 24 2008 07:13 PM
Elaine from Niagara Falls ny

part 8
“People who fought her attempt to oust the librarian are on her enemies list to this day,” states Anne Kilkenny, a Wasilla resident and one of the few Alaskans willing to speak on-the-record, for attribution, about Palin. In fact, Kilkenny actually circulated an e-mail letter about Palin that was verified and printed by The Nation.

For good measure, Palin booted the Wasilla police chief from office because, she told a local newspaper, he “intimidated” her.

Running on Extreme Fringe Evangelical Views
Sarah Palin drew early attention from state GOP apparatchiks when, during her first mayoral campaign, she ran on an anti-abortion platform. Normally, political parties do not get involved in Alaskan municipal elections because they are nonpartisan. But once word of her extreme fringe evangelical views made its way to Juneau, the state capitol, state Republicans tossed some money behind her campaign.

Once in office, Palin set out to build a machine that chewed up anyone who got in her way. The good, Godly Christian turns out to be anything but.

“She’s doesn’t like different opinions and she refuses to compromise,” Kilkenny notes. “When she was mayor, she fought ideas that weren’t hers. Worse, ideas weren’t evaluated on their merits but on the basis of who proposed them.”

Sound familiar? Palin may well be Dick Cheney’s reincarnate.

Sep. 24 2008 07:01 PM
Elaine from Niagara Falls ny

{part 5}

“Once Palin became mayor,” he continued, “She became part of that inner circle.”

Like most other people interviewed, he didn’t want his name used out of fear of retribution. Maybe it’s the long winter nights where you don’t see the sun for months that makes people feel as if they’re under constant danger from “the authorities.” As I interviewed residents it began sounding as if living in Alaska controlled by the state Republican Party is like living in the old Soviet Union: See nothing that’s happening, say nothing offensive, and the political commissars leave you alone. But speak out and you get disappeared into a gulag north of the Arctic Circle for who-knows-how-long.

Alright, that’s an exaggeration brought on by my getting too little sleep and building too much anger as I worked this article. But there’s ample evidence of Palin’s vindictive willingness to destroy people she sees as opponents. Just ask the Wasilla town administrator she hired before firing him because he rebelled against the way Palin demanded he do his job, or the town librarian who refused to hold the book burning Walpurgisnach Mayor Palin demanded.

Ironically, Palin was pushed into hiring the administrator by the party poobahs who helped get her elected after she got herself into trouble over a number of precipitous firings which gave rise to a recall campaign.

Sep. 24 2008 06:47 PM

"[57] Voter from Brooklyn
September 24, 2008 - 05:40PM
Looks like we agree on some things, disagree on others, but were able to have a pleasant debate on an issue."

But here's the catch, Voter. I was already on your side. I'm not your problem. You have to figure out how to reach people who aren't already in the tank for you. That's the problem.

Sep. 24 2008 06:38 PM
Elaine from Niagara Falls ny

{part 3}

Tough Getting People Who Know Her to Talk
It’s not easy getting people in the 49th state to speak critically about Palin – especially people in Wasilla, where she was mayor. For one thing, with every journalist in the world calling, phone lines into Alaska have been mostly jammed since Friday; as often as not, a recording told me that “all circuits are busy” or numbers just wouldn’t ring. I should think a state that’s been made richer than God by oil could afford telephone lines and cell towers for everyone.

On a more practical level, many people in Alaska, and particularly Wasilla, are reluctant to speak or be quoted by name because they’re afraid of her as well as the state Republican Party machine. Apparently, the power elite are as mean as the winters.

“The GOP is kind of like organized crime up here,” an insurance agent in Anchorage who knows the Palin family, explained. “It’s corrupt and arrogant. They’re all rich because they do private sweetheart deals with the oil companies, and they can destroy anyone. And they will, if they have to.”

how you like that?

Sep. 24 2008 06:32 PM
Elaine from Niagara Falls ny

{ PART 4}

Tough Getting People Who Know Her to Talk
It’s not easy getting people in the 49th state to speak critically about Palin – especially people in Wasilla, where she was mayor. For one thing, with every journalist in the world calling, phone lines into Alaska have been mostly jammed since Friday; as often as not, a recording told me that “all circuits are busy” or numbers just wouldn’t ring. I should think a state that’s been made richer than God by oil could afford telephone lines and cell towers for everyone.

On a more practical level, many people in Alaska, and particularly Wasilla, are reluctant to speak or be quoted by name because they’re afraid of her as well as the state Republican Party machine. Apparently, the power elite are as mean as the winters.

“The GOP is kind of like organized crime up here,” an insurance agent in Anchorage who knows the Palin family, explained. “It’s corrupt and arrogant. They’re all rich because they do private sweetheart deals with the oil companies, and they can destroy anyone. And they will, if they have to.”

“Once Palin became mayor,” he continued, “She became part of that inner circle.”

Sep. 24 2008 06:18 PM
Elaine from Niagara Falls ny

{ PART 2 }

Interview Sarah Palin: “Not in the Campaign’s Interest”
Sarah Palin and Me

Alaskans Speak (In a Frightened Whisper): PalinIs “Racist, Sexist, Vindictive, and Mean”
“Bush Lied, They Died” Draws a Drunken Punch
Placid Lake Woebegon Begets a Nasty Police State
Edwards The Confessor vs. McCain’s Ongoing Philandering
Besides insulting Obama with a Step-N’-Fetch-It, “darkie musical” swipe, people who know her say she refers regularly to Alaska’s Aboriginal people as “Arctic Arabs” – how efficient, lumping two apparently undesirable groups into one ugly description – as well as the more colourful “mukluks” along with the totally unimaginative “f**king Eskimo’s,” according to a number of Alaskans and Wasillians interviewed for this article.

But being openly racist is only the tip of the Palin iceberg. According to Alaskans interviewed for this article, she is also vindictive and mean. We’re talking Rove mean and Nixon vindictive.

No wonder the vast sea of white, cheering faces at the Republican Convention went wild for Sarah: They adore the type, it’s in their genetic code. So much for McCain’s pledge of a “high road” campaign; Palin is incapable of being part of one.


Sep. 24 2008 06:04 PM
Elaine from Niagara Falls ny


{ part 1}
Alaskans Speak (In A Frightened Whisper): Palin Is “Racist, Sexist, Vindictive, And Mean”
September 5, 2008
by Charley James –

“So Sambo beat the bitch!”

This is how Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin described Barack Obama’s win over Hillary Clinton to political colleagues in a restaurant a few days after Obama locked up the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

According to Lucille, the waitress serving her table at the time and who asked that her last name not be used, Gov. Palin was eating lunch with five or six people when the subject of the Democrat’s primary battle came up. The governor, seemingly not caring that people at nearby tables would likely hear her, uttered the slur and then laughed loudly as her meal mates joined in appreciatively.

“It was kind of disgusting,” Lucille, who is part Aboriginal, said in a phone interview after admitting that she is frightened of being discovered telling folks in the “lower 48” about life near the North Pole.



Sep. 24 2008 05:57 PM
Voter from Brooklyn


Looks like we agree on some things, disagree on others, but were able to have a pleasant debate on an issue. Funny thing, but my only reason for originally posting was to ask Laurence Tribe about Senator Obama’s positions on the Heller v. DC and Kennedy v. Louisiana.

Sep. 24 2008 05:40 PM

I can get fed up with the politics, but just like you, I can't live the way I want, contrary to what you wrote. It's just not that simple. Nothing ever was. The political issues are so huge right now. I'm in full frontal shock not just as an American, but for the past few years as a woman who's learning just how sexist the corporate environment is, and what few protections exist. I'm learning how much society discriminates against single women, much less single women with children. Meanwhile, we've just pissed our future away to China, and we apparently doubled the $9.5 trillion deficit over the last two and a half weeks. Does anyone know what's going to happen to the credit markets? In the midst of all this, we're talking about gay marriage. It's just... I'll vote against 8, but, man... you know... (I hate to sound like Lebowski) but... there's a few other things going on here right now.
But as Lebowski also said: oh, man, my thinking has been so UPTIGHT about this.

Sep. 24 2008 05:21 PM

agreed on the whole state-does-civil union thing, which I've been pushing for years now.
"Post homosexual agenda glut syndrome?" That's it, surely.
Marriage is such a knotted, gnarled issue - and that's even before talking about gay marriage. We would have to talk about the whole women-entering-the-workforce revolution, and how it affected the "balance of power" within the institution, and how the sexual revolution and women's rights affected the stability of marriage itself - it was never a perfect thing, always an evolution. Why would any group want to throw itself into this maelstrom of conflict, anger, hopes-and-dreams... it's a mess.
The beauty of my solution is that if we stop talking about marriage and start talking civil unions, then we don't have to hear those discussions.

Sep. 24 2008 05:21 PM
Voter from Brooklyn


Sounds like you’re suffering from a case of PHAGS (Post Homosexual Agenda Glut Syndrome.) Cute, eh? Guess San Francisco will do that to you.
I understand your apathy, frustration and growing opposition 100% and you’re entitled to feel that way. I am not a marching-in-the-streets gay rights kind of guy; however, I do have a personal stake in the issue. I’m not trying to change your mind, but I think the only difference between you and I (umm, outside of coast, sex, orientation, and probably age) is that you can get fed up with the politics and still live the like you want. I can’t run away from the issue(s) because it directly affects the life I want.

In regards to civil union semantics… I think the rational (maybe not best) argument to make is that government’s only role in wedding two people should be civil unions. Marriage is a matter for the Church, civil unions a matter for the State. Everyone is entitled to the latter and the former is for the Church to decide. Government’s only reason for being in the civil union business is as an alternative for the non-religious and health and safety of the people.

The mean-spirited side of me wants to throw in that if people think marriage/unions is only about the health and safety of children, then the unwilling (to breed), barren, the aged, and carriers of defective genes should also be denied marriage.

Sep. 24 2008 05:02 PM

"I respect and appreciate your views, but you don’t quite get it."
The problem is that I do get it - I get not only our side, but their side. The inevitable result of growing up half-and-half of ANYTHING, right? The old Duboisian second sight "gift" which makes direct action kind of difficult.
I think we're in agreement on a lot of these points - much of this debate, IMO, is about semantics, and how those semantics succeed in pushing some of the wrong buttons on the other side.
Here in SF, gay marriage is still discussed, tho to a lesser extent than in 2004, with civil rights. That's where we're getting into trouble, IMO.
Here's my question to you. How do we get common ground on this issue - get you what you want while not freaking out the voters on the other side. Better yet, how do we get you what you want while BRINGING OVER those voters on the other side.
My idea is that we push first for civil unions as a kind of cotillion party, if you will, to "introduce" you to a society that should already have known you. Once you are a hit with them, and you will be, gay marriage will be a no-brainer. They'll all support it. But you can't build a bridge without that foundation.

Sep. 24 2008 04:45 PM

#48, Brooklyn
San Francisco is, as you imply, a complete anomaly.
But since I live here, it is now all that I can see (except for Russia, which, if I stand on tiptoe...)
As you say:
"Democrats and Republicans have used gay rights to turn out the vote, but Republicans use the issue to rally the troops far more frequently and effectively than Democrats."
Which is why the gay marriage push is so bold. I'm not liking bold so much these days, after 7.5 years of bold partisanship a la George Bush. I want mild. But I could be wrong.
I actually am surprised by how much I've turned against gay marriage, given that it had my unqualified support when I was younger. I find my own take to be half-pragmatic, and half-hypocritical - the inevitable result of growing older. I am really wrestling with the upcoming vote on Prop 8. I promised a gay friend that I would vote against 8, but I am so pissed about having this thing come up AGAIN before a presidential election that I am having to remind myself, literally daily, that my word is still worth something, and that I will vote my conscience, fulfill my promise to a friend, and not vote my p.o.'ed pragmatism and/or resentment.

Sep. 24 2008 04:29 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

(part 2 for Eva)

Following your post point for point.
1. Blacks didn’t just get lynched for trying to vote, but for wearing the wrong clothes, going into the wrong places, and looking at white people the wrong way (real or imagined). Gay bashings happen for the same reasons; however, replacing white people with heterosexual people. (Matthew Sheppard)
2. We seem to agree on a parallel here
3. Or go to a gay bar without being raided by the cops, beat up, or arrested? (Stonewall) It was once illegal to serve a perceived homosexual a alcoholic beverage in NYC in public.
4. Protesting unfair conditions is what the civil marriage push is all about, but what we’re getting is Plessy

You seem like a nice rational person, I look forward to hearing your POV

Sep. 24 2008 04:26 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

(part 1)

Again, Eva, as a Black homosexual man from the south… I’m sorry, I hate it when people say this… but as a White heterosexual female from California, I respect and appreciate your views, but you don’t quite get it.

On civil unions… The government is only in the civil union business… peoples cackles get up when the “M” word is used because that brings God into it.
I don’t think people make same-sex marriage a “civil rights” issue as much as they make it an “equal protection” issue (for the reasons I stated in my previous post.) It is also a taxation issue. As a single male with no dependants, a lot of my tax money goes to supporting programs and government giveaways I cannot participate in. Denying a civil union (to the one willing person of my choosing) creates uses with my tax money I am told I have no right to. It boils down to fairness.

Sep. 24 2008 04:26 PM
O from Forest Hills

I think they should have marriage, not civil unions. All people have the right to marry whom they love, it is a right not a privilege.

Sep. 24 2008 04:13 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

Ok Eva, I stand corrected. I remember the SF and New Paltz cases; however, it could be argued SF is an anomaly where being pro gay rights is more help than hindrance. Democrats and Republicans have used gay rights to turn out the vote, but Republicans use the issue to rally the troops far more frequently and effectively than Democrats. The easiest way to disarm a Democratic candidate and bolster a Republican one is to bring up God, guns, or gays. The three Gs bring in Republicans like bees to the hive and are Kryptonite to Democrats. I happen to agree with an earlier post that government should only be in the business of civil unions, and leave “marriage” to the church. Government’s only role in civil union regulation should be issues of health and safety (polygamy, underage marriage, spousal abuse, amendment V rights, parental rights, rights of inheritance, etc.) The problem is that “marriage” is also used as a political goodie bag for handouts to get votes, same-sex unions could be seen as a threat against both one’s religious beliefs and the marriage welfare state (where people will wonder if there will still be enough goodies to go around and if their tax money will go to gays condoning the same-sex union.)

Sep. 24 2008 04:11 PM

If there is such resistance, then why not push for the intermediary, less-taboo, less-in-their-face civil union package?
I don't understand the strategy behind the push for gay marriage before two such important presidential elections.
The insistence that marriage is somehow a civil right is just as strategically unwise. When most minorities in this country think of civil rights, they think about...
1) the right to vote without being lynched, terrorized, or abused (as was happening in the South before LBJ's massive civil rights legislation
2) the right to express oneself (including your sexuality) without being terrorized or abused physically or discriminated against
3) the right to, say, go to church in the south without having white separatists blow up your church
4) the right to protest unfair conditions without having police dogs sink their teeth into your legs
The proponents of gay marriage lost my support - and the support of many other minorities - not just on the timing, but on conflating SERIOUS civil rights issues with pie-in-the-sky marriage issues. If you are claiming it as a civil right, then demand civil unions. If you are claiming it as marriage, then you can't invoke civil rights.

Sep. 24 2008 03:58 PM

Justice John Paul Stevens is such a cute old man

Sep. 24 2008 03:55 PM
O from Forest Hills


I remember the mayor of New Paltz was doing same sex marriages around 2003 in NY state.

I am from Albany, NY. Same sex marriage is a big taboo up there. The church I attended before moving to NYC people would get into shouting marriages about being gay and marriage and God's will.

They would pray against it every Sunday. I didn't agree with them, but there is a real resistance on the conservative side against same sex marriage.

Sep. 24 2008 03:27 PM

@#43, Voter from Brooklyn,
Actually, here in my hometown, the mayor ensured his "forever" local support by conducting marriages at City Hall less than a year before the 2004 Pres. election. (This act of "brave defiance" went against the advice of longtime gay rights activist Barney Frank.)
So it is not just the political right that uses same-sex unions as a way to rally support for a political agenda. Newsom's agenda is not the LGBT community, but his own sorry political survival.

If you don't recall, in that election, the fundamentalists rallied, organized, and sent out their voters. I had a black evangelical patient who told me that she was voting for Bush in that election because of gay marriage.

And Bush got to pick the next two Supreme Court justices.

It's unbelievable to me that in the midst of all the serious civil rights violations that have gone on in the last 8 years, the thing that gets liberals fired up is gay marriage. It's like the house is on fire and we're concerned about the thermostat.

Let's forget the semantics around the term marriage. That's what's killing you. Just go for the civil unions, and you'll find more support. As a straight female, I endorse the state getting out of the marriage business entirely. It shouldn't be their province, and it isn't in countries like France.

Sep. 24 2008 03:15 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

@#41 – Eva,

I understand your point of view, but I disagree. The political right is the side that used same-sex unions as way to rally support for a political agenda, not the political left. The mainstream left does not use sexual orientation to gain votes, they avoid it to prevent loosing votes

Sep. 24 2008 02:13 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

@ #39 – Alex,

Race and same-sex marriage are more than parallel, they are the same at their root.
As a Black homosexual male, from Virginia I might add, the rational the opposition used in the anti-miscegenation cases in Virginia was that to mix the races was unnatural and against God’s will. Unnatural because God created separate races and intended them to remain separate. Let’s be honest…. Vox populi in the United States, until about 100 years ago, was that people of African descent were, to be polite, a lower form of human. The difference with opposition (to same-sex unions) isn’t that homosexuals are sub-human per se, but defective, degenerate, or using their free-will to deliberately go against God’s will and the laws of nature. Sodomy laws in Virginia, which were felonies and applied to both sexes, were called Laws Against Nature. Nature was used as a surrogate for God’s will. Going against God’s will are at the root of both arguments. What the argument against same-sex unions misses, however, are that religious ceremonies are of little consequence in the eyes of the law until they are “blessed” by the state. Everyone who’s “married” in the United States has a civil union. Loving wasn’t about whether God should recognize the marriage and the mixing of the races via procreation, it was about civilly recognizing such unions. This is the same issue when it comes to same-sex unions.

Sep. 24 2008 02:13 PM

@39 response to Lance:
As a liberal who no longer supports gay marriage, I actually find your argument against gay marriage to be disingenuous.
As the product of a mixed-race marriage that was consummated not long after the anti-miscegenation laws were struck down, I actually do think that gay marriage proponents ARE facing very similar, if not the same, discrimination.
But I stopped supporting gay marriage in 2004 because I thought it was short-sighted (that's putting it mildly) to push the issue right before a presidential election that was so important to supreme court nominations. I was denounced as a homophobe by longtime non-gay liberal friends merely because I said: I don't want to support this right now because it's a bad strategy.
I also believe we should amend the laws so that the state is no longer involved in "marriage" for gays or straights, only "civil unions" for both. "Marriage" should be left to the church, as it is in much of Western Europe.
The whole gay marriage issue is, like abortion, being abused by both sides for fundraising.
And like abortion, the left is shooting itself in the foot by failing to find common ground with the "horrid, despicable" fundamentalists on these issues.
It's like Obama said, we can disagree, but we can also find common ground. We don't have to demonize the other side just because they haven't gotten to know us yet.

Sep. 24 2008 12:42 PM
Alex from brooklyn

@Vanessa: Yes, Tribe agrees with the right to bear arms. He doesn't like it, but he was famously convinced a few years ago that his general understanding and paradigm for interpretation leads to the conclusion that it is an individual right.

As such, you do not have to be a member of a militia.


@Alberto: Tribe is not a partisan. He is an ideologue. He has a set of principles, which he makes clear in writing and in lectures. He explains why he believes these principles, and what these principles lead to.

Few have ever been so explicit in public as to why they take the stances they take, or as willing to engage with the arguments of the other side.

So, the fact that his principles lead him to support one candidate or view over another should not be surprising. In fact, he is famous for it. He is also famous for criticizing Democrats who take stances in opposition to his principles.

Would that all public officials would do the same; would that all public officials know their thinking so well and interrogate it so publicly.

Sep. 24 2008 12:22 PM
Alex from brooklyn

@Inquiring Minds: Why is Marx relevant? Was he a student or professor of the US Constitution? Did his theories violate the law? What is your point?


@Lance: Race and sexual orientation are not the same thing. Yes, there are parallels, but that does not mean they are the same.

The fact is that in every state a gay man can marry the same people that a straight man can marry. Before Loving vs. Virginia, it used to be that a black man could not marry same people that a white man could marry.

I understand that the argument is that gay men are not entitled to marry who they want to marry, but straight men are not allowed to marry who the gay men want to marry, either.

So, while I am strongly in favor of gay marriage, I also understand that it does not follow directly from Loving. You see, the constitution speak explicitly of racial equality, but not equality with sexual orientation.

Tribe is also in favor of gay marriage, as a policy issue. But he does not think it follows from the constitution.


@Graham: There are lots of laws that legalize things after the fact, that render things that used to be illegal now legal. And people who broke the old law when it was the law are no longer prosecuted.

It is making things illegal after the fact that is banned, not making things legal.

Sep. 24 2008 12:21 PM
O from Forest Hills

People invent fantasies to not deal with reality. Trolling is one such form the fantasy takes to not deal with the reality of life.

come to the Democrat side if it is so bad or be quiet, tolerant and be a Republican but don't be in our faces about it.

The gun amendment, the 2nd amendment by the way, is one of over 14 at least, and Karl Marx was not an American. Stick to the issues and American history, Patrick Henry, Ben Franklin, George Washington, John Hancock, Adams, Hamilton, you get the point.

Sep. 24 2008 12:13 PM
Stella from Brooklyn

@ Inquiring Minds: I am not seeing any intolerance to any viewpoints here. Rather, you come on and troll anti-Democrat views based on one article of the Constitution, while ignoring the blatant abuse of the Constitution by the Republican Executive.

Your initial comments could be considered trolling, and when they are addressed you change the subject.

Sep. 24 2008 12:01 PM
O from Forest Hills


yes, he can pardon himself and cheney on the way out before they leave office. it is legal, not moral, but legal.

Sep. 24 2008 12:00 PM
Mauricio from Weehawken

Can George W. Bush & Dick Chaney ever be exempt from Prosecution?

Sep. 24 2008 11:58 AM
O from Forest Hills

The Nazis used water boarding!

Sep. 24 2008 11:57 AM
Hugh from Crown Heights

When Senator Schumer was asked about impeachment and why he and other Democrats were too weak to raise the issue, his response was, "People don't care about that".

As for future prosecution, after the end of the Bush imperium, people are still being prosecuted _today_ for crimes against humanity in the 1940s. There is no statute of limitations on war crimes or crimes against humanity.

Even if the Americans haven't the decency to prosecute American war criminals, the US has itself already established the precedent that any nation can act as a third party venue for the prosecution of crimes against humanity.

Bush could be prosecuted in France or Israel or China.

Rumsfeld and Kissinger are already avoid France and Spain, among other countries, for exactly this reason.

Sep. 24 2008 11:57 AM
O from Forest Hills

Inquiring minds, we need to debate the issues and get them out into the open not play cumbaya and dance around the issues. we have to take the bull by the horns, call a spade a spade and deal with reality and the violation of the Constitution and our civil rights, not tell everyone what their itching ears wants to hear.

Sep. 24 2008 11:57 AM
Steve (the other one) from Manhattan

If Bush/Cheney isn't held accountable it will happen again. What else is the criminal law for?

Sep. 24 2008 11:55 AM
O from Forest Hills

Seduction has nothing to do with politics. We are debating the Constitution not writing a romance novel!

As a romance writer, I would know!

Sep. 24 2008 11:55 AM
Alex from brooklyn

Shorter Posner: "No one would ever do anything different than I would do in their place."

What a waste of time to ask him what others think or about differences between what others think. (Not Brian's fault, of course.)

Sep. 24 2008 11:54 AM
Inquiring Minds

“I consider myself a good friend of every one of my colleagues, both past and present,” Scalia told Laura [Ingram]. “Some more than others. My best friend on the Court is and has been for many years, Ruth Ginsburg. Her basic approach is not mine, but she’s a lovely person and a good loyal friend.”

@Stella and others...

a troubling trend amoung "liberals and progressives" is INTOLERANCE any views not exactly their own -- moderates are reviled and have been kicked out of the Democratic party

it is hypocrisy to pick and chose what parts of the Constitution one supports

we need civility and collegiality, even here at WNYC

Sep. 24 2008 11:53 AM
John P MacKenzie from Long Island City

Talk of impeachment is seductive but makes no sense.
Congress is too complicit in the constitutional excesses to pass judgment.
And of course the needed super-majorities are lacking.
Jack MacKenzie

John P MacKenzie
CityLights, 4-74 48th Ave apt 4D
Long Island City NY 11109-5602
718 340-1134  cell 917 270-7943

Sep. 24 2008 11:53 AM
J.C. from Minneapolis

@ Alberto:

Just because you're partisan (i.e. have chosen a group of people with whom you share a set of beliefs) doesn't make you somehow not "objective." You can disagree with Tribe's opinions, certainly, but don't knock someone because he/she has (gasp!) made a decision over which side has the better argument. It's not as if the vast majority of Democrats and Republicans have just flipped a coin to see if they'd be on the "blue team" or the "red team."

Sep. 24 2008 11:50 AM
Stella from Brooklyn

@O: Hear hear.

Sep. 24 2008 11:49 AM
Stella from Brooklyn

@ Inquiring Minds... Your prior posts are showing a contempt for Democrats, and liberal judges on the Supreme Court. It is evident from the past 8 years that the Republicans (Executive primarily, but no challenge from the Legislative) have no love of liberty and are actively trying to undermine the Constitustion that you claim to love. So why an attack on Democrats who were not undermining the Constitution in any way?

Sep. 24 2008 11:46 AM
O from Forest Hills

There are a lot of Republicans trolling Progressive and Democrat panels to stir up consternation in this time now till the election.

We need to focus on the issues and not let anyone trying to stir up trouble cause problems.

We need Obama in the White House to fix the mess bush left behind.

Sep. 24 2008 11:45 AM
Hugh from Crown Heights

What a contrast -- Laurence Tribe followed by the petty war criminal Eric Posner. Like his father, one the most revolting right-wing legal pseudo-theorists in the US today.

An apologist for torture, for denial of basic human rights, and for American atrocities.

Shameful. (And of course, spineless American "moderates" cringe at any suggestion that an American may be as awful as any war criminal elsewhere in the world.)

Sep. 24 2008 11:44 AM
Inquiring Minds

@ Stella

I love ALL the constitution...

It is a set of interlocking pieces that define / limit the government's power over us.

Sep. 24 2008 11:41 AM
Alberto from Manhattan

It is utterly disappointing to see such a distinguished professor partake in partisan politics. Is Professor Tribe the next Alan Dershowitz. I believe now more than ever the American people need objective viewpoints from our best and brightest.

Sep. 24 2008 11:39 AM
Stella from Brooklyn

@ Inquiring Minds... I see you're a one-issue person, who probably has no conception what your love of guns means in urban communities.

Are you part of a "well-regulated" militia?

Sep. 24 2008 11:36 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

For Mr. Tribe,

If Senator Obama supports the Constitution and has the depth of knowledge claimed, please explain his recent stand on Supreme Court decisions that seem dubious at best, and political in their root. Namely Heller v. District of Columbia (pro) and Kennedy v. Louisiana (con).

Sep. 24 2008 11:36 AM
Vanessa from New York

Does the professor agree with Obama's view of the recent Supreme Court gun control decision? (Why) does Obama take the view that the right to bear arms is an individual right, rather than a right linked to the potential need to form a militia?

Sep. 24 2008 11:35 AM
Graham from Paris

Question for Professor Tribe:

Why _wasn't_ Senator Obama's vote putatively granting retroactive immunity to the telecoms an example of an "ex post facto" laws forbidden under Art. I, section 9 ?

Sep. 24 2008 11:34 AM
Inquiring Minds


Don't forget Biden. BIDEN IS SCARY.

Biden led a "mob" which blocked the confirmation of the qualified jurist, Robert Bork, for no other reason than that they disagreed with his views. Confirmation was never intended to be a political litmus test, it has since become so. Ironically, this was Bork's very insight: that legislators have appealed to the courts to accomplish that which they could not accomplish by the ballot box!!

Time magazine wrote at the time:
"Later that day former Chief Justice Warren Burger [liberal jurist; crafted Brown v. B. Education] condemned Biden's plan to grill Bork during the confirmation hearings. "No judge up for nomination under any circumstances should ever be asked to commit himself on how he's going to vote on a case that's coming before the court at some future date," declared Burger."

Sep. 24 2008 11:34 AM
Lance from Manhattan

Professor Tribe, if Obama has such reverence for the Constitution, how does he square his avowal that decisions re same-sex marriage should be left to the states when the Supreme Court has decided that the Constitution holds that separate is not equal and that states cannot prohibit marriages between people of different races?

Sep. 24 2008 11:33 AM
Will from Oakland

The funniest thing about Whoopie's Constitution joke was how no one laughed at it. Guess her audience isn't used to having to think like that.

Sep. 24 2008 11:28 AM
Liam from East Elmhurst

How about a Constitutional Convention?

Sep. 24 2008 11:24 AM

Didn't WW2 essentially set up an imperial Presidency? And what Bush has done has put it on steriods?

Also how does not having a draft and a professional standing army/navy etc.. add to the unchecked authority to a President to make war?

If we had just enough to protect our homeland, and needed a subsequent draft for any wars, the President would have no choice to ask for a declaration of war.

The benefit of an imperial presidency to Congress is that it allows them to shirk their responsibility (it was a 50-49-1 democratic senate that gave bush the authority for Iraq)

Sep. 24 2008 11:24 AM
Liam from East Elmhurst

How about the USA has a Constitutional Convention to work it out?

Sep. 24 2008 11:23 AM
Inquiring Minds

Breyer and Ginsberg


Sep. 24 2008 11:18 AM
jez from 10039

Idiotic American minds might think they have all sorts of rights, but if GW Bush and his cronies get the idea that they might be enemy combatant terrorist sympathizers, they'll quickly find out that they have little to no rights. Get a grip already.

Sep. 24 2008 11:14 AM
Hugh from Crown Heights

BUT McCain says one thing and does another. He has _repeatedly_ spoken for the rule of law and then _voted_ to support Bush torture policies, including the Military Commissions Act.

How often does this point need to be repeated before someone other than Nat Hentoff or Nation essayists acknowledge it?

Sep. 24 2008 11:11 AM
Inquiring Minds

@ O

Karl Marx was a law student and professor too.


Sep. 24 2008 11:06 AM
O from Forest Hills

And Obama was a Constitutional Law professor and the Editor of the Harvard review when he went to law school.

I would think Obama understands the Constitution.

The 4th amendment is the right to be free in our persons from search and seizure.

We have right to counsel, right to a speedy trial. All of those have been taken away but we can have a gun.

Sep. 24 2008 10:38 AM
Inquiring Minds

For the record:

In DC vs. Heller

Senator Obama
- did not sign on to any pro Heller brief
- voted against the confirmation of both Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito (who ultimately authored the opinion of the majority)


Sep. 24 2008 10:33 AM
O from Forest Hills

don't forget to mention Denis Kusinich (D) from Delaware in the US House of Reps that put forth an Impeachment of bush petition about 6 weeks ago.

bush is running things with a police state to keep people in fear.

The executive privilege is being abused by bush as he uses this to try to justify keeping prisoners at guanatanamo and using waterboarding as torture to get info from "enemy combatants."

bush claims to be a born again Christian. Would Jesus waterboard people to get info? I don't think so.

Our bill of rights has been ripped to shreds and bush and this administration with karl rove and condolezza rice have no regards for the constitution and the laws. last I checked, we didn't repeal the bill of rights.

Sep. 24 2008 10:32 AM
Inquiring Minds

One OUTSTANDING POSITIVE Change for those of us who love liberty:

District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. (2008) in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects an individual's right to possess a firearm for private use.

God bless America!

Sep. 24 2008 10:29 AM
schooled in mold from CT

Is it possible that there is another issue with the Fannie, freddie, etc. bailout and the FBI investigation of these concerns for fraud and malfeasance. Would the gov't taking over Fannie and Freddie somehow "absolve" the executives who created this crisis of the hook. Is it possible that GS which now has changed its banking status has some concern for its own former executives, aka Henry Paulson? Is this bailout all about evading legal responsibility?

Sep. 24 2008 10:20 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.